Unarmed Latino Man Shot to Death by Chicago Cop: Lawsuit Says Codes of Silence & Lies Makes Accountability Impossible

From [HERE] The sister of a 38-year-old Latino man who was shot to death by a an off-duty Chicago police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging there was a “code of silence” among police to cover-up the shooting.

The nine-count suit was filed Friday morning in U.S. District Court names the city and the officer. His name has not been released by the Chicago Police Department, though he is named in the suit.

Jose Nieves was shot by the 57-year-old officer, who is assigned to the mass transit unit, about 9:15 a.m. Monday in the 2500 block of North Lowell, according to Chicago Police. An “altercation” between the men escalated and Nieves was shot several times. Nieves was helping a family member move. He was unarmed at the time. Police said the officer had a reationship with Nieves and Nieves had claimed the officer was harrassing him. [MORE]

Nieves was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he died from from multiple gunshot wounds at 9:51 a.m., police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. His death was ruled a homicide.

The following day, Supt. Eddie Johnson stripped the officer of his police powers.

The lawsuit, filed by Nieves’ sister, alleges the CPD “conspired” to present misleading reports. It states the department’s “code of silence” prevents a proper investigation into civilians who are shot by Chicago police.

The suit also claims the officer threatened to arrest and physically harm Nieves.

The officer “had good reason to believe that his misconduct would not be revealed or reported by fellow officers or their supervisors … thereby protecting him from the consequences of his unconstitutional conduct,” the suit said.

CPD and Independent Police Review Authority have opened simultaneous investigations into the shooting.

The suit alleges conspiracy, wrongful death, unconstitutional seizure, battery among other claims. It seeks an undisclosed amount of damages.